Review by Karl Verhoven
Tiny Fox once lived alone in the valley, but then one day Great Boar appeared. The sample art shows their first meeting, and the shared pleasure of sitting beneath the shady tree. Other simple pleasures are explored as their friendship develops.
Tiny Fox and Great Boar is a series of charming short tales for very young readers, the intention being that they’re read to them by parents or carers. Berenika Kołomycka keeps the watercolour illustrations plain, to the point where it may encourage children to try drawing the characters themselves, but they’re not without depth. There’s not enough background to confuse, but neither is this artwork for children to lose themselves in, as it’s there to keep the story moving. And move it does, separated into four chapters corresponding with the seasons of the year, and dealing with subjects the very young will find intimidating or confusing themselves, such as crossing the road, being cold during winter or the uncertainty of the unknown.
If you want to look for messages, this may be a good book to read to a child who has a new sibling. Tiny Fox and Great Boar are unsure about each other to begin with, yet come to enjoy each other’s company and don’t like being apart. Their bond is underlined at the story’s crisis point where crossing a road could lead to untold new adventures. “I was too afraid to cross this road without you”, Great Boar admits.
This is very definitely for children rather than being for all-ages, but is well crafted to allay fears and raise questions, one of which is considering what happens next. The adventures continue in Furthest, into which the final pages lead. The ending promises more, but can equally be taken as a natural conclusion. Those with creative children can have them predict what happens next.